tv CBS Morning News CBS December 24, 2010 4:00am-4:30am EST
the uso. until every one comes home. overdrive. americans hit the road for the holiday, but mother nature may have some surprises in store. security scare. the secret service leaps into action after a man drives through a checkpoint near the president's vacation home in hawaii. and a green christmas. retailers look for last-minute shoppers on what's shaping up as the best holiday season if years. this is the "cbs morning news" years. this is the "cbs morning news" for friday, december 24th, 2010. captioning funded by cbs i'm terrell brown in for
betty nguyen. the christmas getaway is in full swing this morning. so far, so good, too. the weather is cooperating but that's about to change. it is estimated 93% of this year's holiday travelers are driving, about 86 million people for those traveling to or from the midwest, this is the problem. there are winter weather advisories from north dakota to indiana, a winter storm is building and heading east expected to bring snow and ice as far south as missouri but not just the weather travelers that have to contend with. there are also higher prices at the pump. don teague reports. >> reporter: in dallas, texas, eric and his family are on the road. to grandma's house, 700 miles away in colorado. >> it's not too far for us to drive, i mean, as a family we always take long trips. >> only 12 hours. >> reporter: a trip that will cost much more this christmas with gas prices on the rise. nationwide, the average price for regular .301 a gallon, a a
43-cent jump from last year and the first time gas has ever topped $3.00 at christmas. they are among the more than 92 million americans on the move this holiday week -- by car, train, bus and plane. a 3% increase over last year. >> going to be what it's going to be. >> reporter: despite high prices on hotel rooms, up 5%, and airline tickets also up 5% to an average of $421. median spending for holiday travel up 3.5% to $694. >> it's a combination of a slightly improved economy and just a strong desire to spend time with family and friends. >> reporter: the good news, few travel delays related to bad weather. long lines at airports stemmed from higher volume and new security scans and pat-downs brought on by the so-called underwear bomber of last christmas. while pre-christmas travel has
been relatively smooth, getting home may be a different story. forecasters are watching a winter storm that could bring snow all along the east coast and even the southeast on christmas. don teague, cbs news, dallas. this holiday season a new concern involving a potential terrorist attack. the fear is that terrorists may try to smuggle explosives on board airlines using insulated beverage containers. the homelands security department has alerted air carriers, nothing to suggest an attack is imfent but it is clear terrorists are plotting more strike involving home-grown terrorists. >> they never intended to conduct every attack themselves but to spark a wave of people worldwide who would do it for them. >> u.s. officials a security at borders, airports and train stations has been bolstered. a brief scare at the home the president is spending his vacation. preeti arla is nshlt n washington with details. good morning to you. >> the secret service says the
president was never in danger during the security scare. we're told a man, leon rodriguez, drove into the neighborhood where the president is vacationing in hawaii, when he drove through a checkpoint, photographers capture ad secret service agent running towards the vehicle and pointing a gun at it. a secret service spokesperson says the president was never in danger and the man was not trying to get near the president or his family. he didn't even get to a security barricade closer to the obama vacation home. police say they were trying to arrest rodriguez, wanted on traffic warrants. he then led authorities on a high-speed chase that led to that checkpoint and was eventually arrested. during this entire incident we're told the president was actually playing golf at a nearby marine base. terrell? >> preeti arla in washington for us, this morning. thanks. meanwhile avalanches in southern nevada have forced evacuations in towns near las vegas. overnight snow slides hit mountain areas about 40 miles southwest of las vegas. heavy snow knocked down power
lines, electricity cut to more than 300 customers. police fearing a major avalanche urged residents to evacuate. to california now, a week of tore rens rain has caused massive flooding and mud slides. emergencies have been declared in three more counties including los angeles. one community, highland, damage estimates have topped $17 million. kinds disgibson has that part of the story. >> reporter: hidesland, california is covered in a river of mud. cars buried and homes blocked off in this town about 70 miles east of los angeles. residents are trying to dig out, but it's a challenge just to get to the front door. and inside, only more mud. >> total loss, yeah. >> reporter: he came home thursday to find it soaked in a mixture of mud and water. >> this is beyond recognition right now, you know. >> reporter: several days of rain created massive mud slides. about 70 homes were hit with many families losing all the presents under the tree. and this mud won't be gone in time for christmas in some
places, the mud is so deep it take weeks if not months before homeowners can move back in. but there are many houses like this one that are a total loss. in other parts of southern california, people are cleaning up what the floodwaters left behind. shop owners trying to salvage one more holiday shopping day. and san diego's qualcomm stadium is now dry enough for football. but this regional airport in corona, california remains under several feet of water. >> floodwaters coming in from all directions. >> reporter: some towed their planes out but others submerged and have to be left behind. it's hoped the floodwaters will recede before another set of showers hit this weekend. kendis gibson, cbs news, highland, california. security tight in rome this morning, tens of thousands are gathering for this year's christmas ceremonies at the vatican. rome is already on alert because of thursday's bombings at the embassies. one mail bomb at each exploded. two people were seriously injured. police say anarchists are
responsible. in romania a man protests protesting budget cuts jumped off a balcony in parliament. we want to warn you the video you are about to see may be disturbing. during the debate the man jumped shouting you've taken bread from my children's mouths. he's said to be in stable condition this morning. in britain a flab about a coin supposedly features portraits of prince william and his fiance. you be the judge. the images aren't exactly fellow terring. the bride appears somewhat plump and the portrait of ril yam isn't accurate itself either. the couple plans to marry april 29th. it was released to mark the occasion. just ahead on the morning news, toyota agrees to a $10 million settlement in the deadly crash. plus, retailers are celebrating a happy holiday as the final shopping days of christmas ring up more sales. this is the "cbs morning news."
>> i want to wish everybody in my family, all the way from american samoa, hawaii, california, a very happy and merry christmas! mcdonald's? ♪ whoa, whoa! 10:00 and 2:00, buddy. hands on the wheel. eyes on the road, right? so this is what it's like to be driven around, huh? look over there, honey. the francos finished the addition on their house. [ mom ] oh, yeah! [ male announcer ] the want-it, need-it... stay focused. [ male announcer ] ...gotta-have-it taste of the quarter pounder with cheese, big mac, and angus third pounder. hey, hop on the expressway. but it's rush hour. [ male announcer ] the simple joy worth waiting for. [ young man ] how's your burger, bro? [ laughs ] [ young man ] how's your burger, bro? ah, it's stinging a little bit more than usual! yeah, you'll get used to it. the longer you keep your high mileage car, the more it pays you back. get castrol gtx high mileage.
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[ female announcer ] you'll never look at stains the same way again. for a powerful clean against a full range of stains, use new wisk. fight stains with science. it was the crash that led to millions of recalls, now toyota has agreed to pay $10 million to the family of four victims. in august 2009 an off-duty police officer and three other family members were killed. the accelerator pedal on the lexus got stuck. their final moments can be heard on this chilling 911 call. >> we're in trouble. we can't. there's no brake. >> okay. >> -- a half mile. >> you don't have the ability to turn the vehicle off or anything. >> now approaching the intersection. we're approaching the intersecti intersection. we're proeping the intersection. hold on, pray, pray. oh. oh.
>> toyota does not admit or deny liability in that settlement. on the cbs moneywatch trading light for asian markets. the nikkei lost more than half a percent hong kong's hang seng was closed. wall street thursday the dow added 14, the nasdaq shed nearly 6. believe it or not today is supposed to be the best day all year to buy a car. experts at truecar.com say the average discounts off the sticker price should be around 7.25%. six of the top ten days to buy are in december as dealers try to move old inventory out. now hiding the listings for american airlines in response to american pulling its listings off orbtiz after a legal dispute. they are actually rivals but said it would stand in solidarity with its competitor. american, the nation's third largest carrier called it discriminatory and unwarranted. the long-running tug-of-war over
o distribution costs is expected to come to a head next year. millions of taxpayers are going to have to wait a few extra weeks for next year's refund. the irs is scrambling to update its computers after congress passed last-minute changes to the tax code. the glitch should affect taxpayers that itemize deductions. santa came early for retailers nationwide. sales are up this holiday season and with last-minute shoppers hitting the stories today, this could turn into the best season in years. elaine quijano has the numbers. >> reporter: in the midst of christmas gift crunch time, retailers are crunching the number says and seeing consumers back in the holiday spirit. last super saturday weekend, retail sales increased 5.5%, compared to a year ago. foot traffic in stores was up 3%. and online sales jumped a whopping 17%. >> we're letting our breath out, we're feeling better about our economy. and one of the ways to express
that is i'm a shopper and i'm back and i'm ready to spend. >> reporter: business is so, good the national retail federation revised its holiday sales forecast from 2.3 to 3.3%, with consumers heading back to traditional holiday gifts like electronics, jewelry and clothes. apale sales up almost 10% over last year, a sign consumers are once again spending money on themselves. did you get anything for yourself? >> of course. >> reporter: what did you end up getting? >> a sweater for myself, too. >> reporter: christmas eve expected to another big shopping day as consumers hold out for deals. >> we soo a lot of last-minute shoppers. looking for that bang for their buck and excellent bargain. >> reporter: those discounts aren't as deep as past years. still, companies are trying to lure consumers in other ways. >> it's really about convenience. we are seeing extended store hours. we're seeing next-day shipping
being discounselled. whatever the retailer can do to make that experience easier, they are going to do it. >> reporter: elaine quijano, cbs news, new york. we'll take a quick break. coming up this morning, your christmas eve weather forecast n. sports, big ben strikes again as the steelers move one step closer to a division title. >> mom and dad, just wanted to tell you guys i love you and i miss you guys and i hope you have a happy holiday and a happy new year. i'll see you soon! [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking] with deposits in your engine, it can feel like something's holding your car back. let me guess, 16. [laughing] yeeah. that's why there's castrol gtx... with our most powerful deposit fighting ingredient ever. castrol gtx exceeds the toughest new industry standard. don't let deposits hold your car back. get castrol gtx. it's more than just oil. it's liquid engineering. and the life you want to live. with rheumatoid arthritis, there's the life you live...
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here's a look at the weather in some cities around the country. 37 partly cloudy in new york, 71, sunny in miami. light snow and # 32 in chicago. 65 and sunny in los angeles. time now for a check of the national forecast. the latest satellite picture shows clouds in the midwest bringing snow to the north and rain to the south. skies clear in the southeast and southwest. later today several inches of snow will pile up in the northern plains. with a sheet of frozen precipitation in the central plains. the temperatures are staying on the mild side in the southeast. in the northeast is looking at high temps in the 30s and 40s. in sports this morning the steelers got the holiday party started early. quarterback ben roethlisberger tossed for 320 yards. 27-3, the final. the steelers now one step closer to locking up a first round bye during the playoffs. in college ball freshman hillman
scored four tmpdz. san diego gets its first bowl victory in over 40 years. you've got to remember the field was slick, too. about one million gallons of floodwater was pumped out just before game time. the aztecs sink navy 35-14. in basketball, the greatest took in courtside action, muhammad ali as you will see is on hand as lebron james took on the suns. and james showed off one-handed windmill dunks, thunderous double-pumps. ended the night with 36 points. they down phoenix 95-83. orlando may have finally found its magic touch. they ended the spurs' ten-game winning streak. the game wasn't even close. the magic cruised past a very tired looking san antonio 123-101. when we return on this christmas eve, another look at this morning's top stories and bouncing back. one man's survival of long-term unemployment. it took him to the brink of financial ruin. >> i'm from cincinnati, ohio.
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on the "cbs morning news" here's a look at today east weather. calm weather in the northeast. the southeast staying sunny and mild. the northwest has more rain in the forecast. sections of the midwest where the action is with a potential winter storm. here's another look at this morning's top stories. aaa estimates 92 million americans will travel more than 50 miles this holiday season. so far, the weather's been cooperating but a snow and ice storm is brewing in the midwest and that could certainly cause some problems. j a security scare after a driver, being chased by police, drove through a perimeter checkpoints near the president's hawaii vacation home. police say he was not trying for get to the president.
one manage from long island new york is extra grateful this season. until recently one of millions of americans unemployed. he couldn't find a job for an extended period of time and faced financial ruin. randall pinkston has the story. >> reporter: he survived a trauma that changed him forever. >> when you pass the year mark, it's devastating. >> reporter: in 2008, he was laid off from his job in pharmaceutical sales. he thought he'd find work within weeks. but more than a year later, he was still looking and had burned through his savings, even his 9-year-old son knew the family was in crisis. >> he'd get five dollars from nanna and papa and come in to me and say, dad would, this help us? things like that just, they kill you, they kill you. >> reporter: he fell behind on his mortgage, lost his car and one day he got home just as the power company was about to pull the plug. by then, he had turned to a local charity for support.
the uja paid the power bill and helped negotiate lower mortgage paints. he found temporary work at a loading dock, where he took on double shifts. he played in a band to keep up his spirits and finally, earlier in year, he began to rebuild his life. >> to have taken the rough road now i can put the top down, now i can enjoy the sun and i can enjoy the ride. >> reporter: the memory stills still sing but he says his rebound should inspire other job hunters not to give up hope. and you know, if you are not in the christmas mood just yet, this might do it. take a look. i love it! amazing site. the owners of thenous cath dra city, california created the spectacular light and music show with more than 100,000 lights and wired them to a computer
program to zincnize them to music n. keeping with the holiday spirit the show is free, of course, to the public and they even serve hot chocolate. that's how you do it. i'd hate to see the electric brill next months. i'm terrell brown. this is the "cbs morning news." she'll love it. [chuckles] trust me. i know. ho-ho-ho-ho-ho. - introducing charmed memories, a new collection at kay jewelers. each design is hand-crafted in italy, and because you choose the charms, the possibilities are endless. create your own memories with charmed memories, one more reason kay is the number one jewelry store in america. - i love it. - santa said you would. no, really. [scraping] [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking] with deposits in your engine, it can feel like something's holding your car back. let me guess, 16. [laughing] yeeah. that's why there's castrol gtx...
going to hit the roads. >> a little traffic. >> a little bumpy. travel forecast in just a moment. let's get your day planner on this christmas eve. a chilly day. upper 30s to around 40. yesterday we made it to lower 40s. windy, today not as windy. still gusting to 25, maybe 30 miles per hour. some snow showers once again in southwest pa, western maryland. generally clear skies overhead for the entire metro this morning. so, a nice start. a breezy, chilly start with a reading of 30 toward washington. 20s for the shenandoah valley. 27 in gaithersburg. 31 for our friends in southern maryland down in easton. we said reagan national, 32. visibility 10 miles. no problem seeing but a little bumpy with the winds gusting to 23. if you're traveling today, look at that. virginia beach, philly, new york, boston, lots of sunshine. some rain in memphis.
and st. louis up to chicago perhaps some lighter snow is out that way. 4:26. good morning, richard andrei. >> good morning, howard on this christmas eve. one more day to the big day. the traffic at this early hour, not too bad in the overview sense. we're clear all around. we're going to take a look at i-270. no problems or delays there from frederick going past gaithersburg down to the split. we'll call it light to occasionally moderate volume of traffic. the bw parkway, no problems there northbound or southbound. you may find overnight work going on southbound 95 by 198 where we have the left lane closed. so, take a look for that. but no problems as a result. more traffic coming your way in a few minutes around 4:31. >> thank you, richard. here are stories we're following for you today. >> rome is on alert this morning. following two mail bomb explosions in the city yesterday. the bombs exploded in the hands of two employees at the swiss and chilean embassies.
both were seriously wounded as well. tourists flocked to the city during the holiday season in hopes of witnessing the pope's holiday services. we know holiday time, people love to throw back a few drinks. we have interesting statistics about what people in our area drink. >> scott broome has a look at numbers from the department of liquor control. >> reporter: 'tis the season and in montgomery county where the department of liquor control is the only place where you can buy the hard stuff, the sales numbers are public. >> i love vodka. >> she's not alone! overwhelmingly, five of the top six selling hard liquors are brands of vodka in montgomery county. light rum is the only exception. the first so-called brown liquor on the list is jack daniels coming in at number 7. >> that reflects a national trend going on for over a decade now. >> john is the director of the department of liquor control. >> there is a return to the cocktail culture that's helped spur growth. some people blame it on the cosmopolitan being popular after sex in the city.
>> it gets mixed with a lot of interesting things. >> we're in the vodka section. the county liquor store in kensington, there are more than 100 different vodka labels. >> because of the many flavors that have come out. >> virginia state stores report similar numbers. montgomery county is experimenting with sunday hours noon to 6:00. >> hopefully it will generate additional revenue. that's not the primary purpose. we're doing it more for customer convenience. >> no surprise, sunday drinkers buy lots of vodka, too. it is not just vodka sales that are up. so is the number of people who say they're drinkers. according to a gallup poll this year, it is 67%. the highest number since 1985. in kensington, scott broome, 9news now. montgomery county brings in more than $30 million a year in revenue from controlling liquor sales. but the stores will not be open this sunday or the sunday after new year's so employees can have the holiday with